Mind games have already started ahead of the Manchester derby at the weekend, with United manager Louis van Gaal firing the first salvo, Mirror Online reports.
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City have won the last four derby meetings including a 1-0 win at the Etihad in November as Sergio Aguero’s goal just after the hour mark was enough for bragging rights against a United side which were reduced to ten-men in the first half after Chris Smalling was sent-off for two bookable offences.
That was van Gaal’s first experience of a derby of any kind in England, and his side have responded well since that defeat and have a good record in games against the teams around them.
They have already held league leaders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, beaten Arsenal at Emirates in the league and have done the double over Liverpool this season.
With five league wins in a row, the Dutchman is confident that the Red Devils can put an end to their city rivals dominance in these games:
“Now we have developed the team, that was more in the start of the process and now we are in the end of the process.” he said to Mirror Online.
“So I think also the confidence of our players is very high at the moment, but also our performances show that, so it’s not the same Manchester United.”
“But we have a lot of confidence – and we haven’t lost so many times at home.” he added.